Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi told Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday that “Egypt and Palestine are one entity.”
The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Morsi, calling to convey holiday greetings in honor of Eid al-Fitr [marking the end of the month of Ramadan], also told Haniyeh that Egypt will stand by the Palestinians, and stressed the importance of security cooperation between the two countries.
The call comes three weeks after the two leaders met in Cairo, where Haniyeh led a Hamas delegation. According to a spokesman for Morsi, the two leaders discussed potential solutions to the siege imposed on Gaza and the prospects of a reconciliation between Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.
In related news, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported on Saturday that Morsi will visit Iran at the end of August to attend meetings of the Non-Aligned Movement. Morsi’s visit to Iran would be the first by an Egyptian head of state since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.
The Non Aligned Movement was establish during the Cold War to promote the interests of the developing world and stake a middle ground between the US and the USSR. Egypt, the current chair of the organization will be transferring leadership to Iran at the upcoming meetings.
Morsi’s visit, which was not immediately confirmed by his spokesman, would mark another step in the warming of ties between two of the most populous states in the Middle East since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak in January 2011.
In June, Iran’s semi-official news outlet Fars, published what it claimed to be an interview with Morsi, in which he stated that he intended to “revise the Camp David treaty” and “restore normal relations with Iran.” The interview was purported to have taken place a few hours before the official announcement of Morsi’s presidential victory, but Morsi vehemently denied the story at the time, claiming it was a complete fabrication.